With less than three weeks to go until the Derby at Epsom, the ante-post market is starting to take shape.
In recent day’s there have been plenty of movers and shakers following the news that the Aidan O’Brien trained Luxembourg will now miss the race.
So in what looks like a wide-open renewal, we’ve taken a closer look at the current ante-post fancies for the 2022 Derby.
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Desert Crown has burst to the head of the Derby betting after success in the Dante at York this week.
He ran only once as a two-year-old, winning a maiden at Nottingham – a race that has also been won in the past by Mishriff and Space Blues.
And that Nottingham run saw him win in pleasing style, travelling well throughout and seeing off the field to take the win.
And he showed that success was no fluke with an impressive victory at York – taking the lead a quarter of a mile from home and landing the richest Derby trial of all by three and a quarter lengths, despite drifting to his right.
And Stoute knows what it takes to train a Derby winner, having won the race five times in a distinguished career – Desert Crown could well make that a sixth come Derby day.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Stone Age has come into the Derby reckoning on the back of two victories this season, including when landing the Leopardstown Derby Trial earlier this month.
Running over 1m 2f that day, Stone Age stayed on impressively, indicating that the Derby distance would be of no concern.
Aidan O’Brien is the most successful trainer ever in the Derby, winning the race eight times, all of which have come since 2001.
And with Luxembourg now set to miss the big race, Stone Age looks set to be the best chance for the Irish trainer to make it nine victories.
Aidan O’Brien may also be represented by Changingoftheguard in the race.
Changingoftheguard was an impressive winner of the Chester Vase, giving O’Brien his tenth success in the race.
Ridden by Ryan Moore, Changingoftheguard made all, running out a six-length winner, a success that saw his Derby odds slashed to 8/1 from 50/1.
Ruler of the World landed the Chester Vase and Derby double in 2013 for O’Brien, and he’s got a live chance of doing the double once more this year with Changingoftheguard.
Piz Badile is trained in Ireland by Donnacha O’Brien, son of Aidan, and he cemented his place at the head of the Derby betting with victory in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown at the start of April.
He’s set to head to Epsom without another run as he looks to emulate Harzand, the last horse to win the Ballysax and the Derby.
Piz Badile dug deep in the Ballysax, reeling in Buckaroo in the dying strides, and that horse has since come out and franked the form by winning at the Curragh.
And at double-figure odds currently, he could offer some each-way value at this stage.
A son of the legendary Frankel, Westover landed the Sandown Classic Trial on his seasonal reappearance at the end of April.
Trained by Ralph Beckett, connections have decided against another prep run before the Derby.
Westover will instead enjoy a spin around the famous Epsom track on Derby Gallops Morning on May 23rd.
One of a few horses to win a Derby trial this season that’s not trained in Ireland, a positive showing by Westover in the racecourse gallop should see him head to Epsom for the Derby.
- Movers and Shakers
- the world